How to Evaluate and Learn From Q1

No One Executes An Annual Plan

Execution happens daily, and for most companies, the most effective time frame for an execution plan is 90 days (13 weeks).

Your Executive Team Should Be Meeting Now To Plan Q2.

No matter what happened in Q1, you have the opportunity for a reset now.  It doesn’t matter if you had a quarterly plan for Q1 or not.  It doesn’t even matter if you have an annual plan for 2014.  Now is the time to get away from your office for a day to review what happened in Q1 and get set up for Q2.  Get in touch so we can schedule a phone call to talk about how I can help.

I’ve covered quarterly planning in depth elsewhere.  The rest of this message is a deep dive into the first 90 minutes of your Q2 planning session.

How to Evaluate and Learn From Q1

Open the day by sharing personal good news from the last 90 days.  No matter how close you are as a team, I guarantee that each person will have something to share.  This starts the day on a positive vibe and reminds everyone that this is an interactive day where everyone’s contributions are needed.

Next, what have we accomplished?  With someone recording on a flip chart or white board, everyone shares 1-2 accomplishments from the quarter: something a newspaper or magazine might report about, or something you might brag about to a friend or colleague.

Now it’s time for brass tacks, evaluating performance as a company.  Go through each of your KPIs (Key Performance Indicators) that you said you would track this quarter and evaluate them.  If you met your goal, that’s green.  If was below the “unacceptable” bar, that’s red.  In between is yellow.

Now do the same thing for your rocks (quarterly priorities). If you have a dashboard like the one below, it’s clear where each rock stands. If not, have the rockholder (the person accountable for that priority) give a green/yellow/red rating, with explanation about what was accomplished (or not!).

This has been the best quarter ever for the Sarvata household, in terms of the execution of our quarterly rocks.  You can see here that we have personal and business rocks intermingled, because the planning unit for us is the family, which includes the business.

Note: if you didn’t choose KPIs or set numerical targets, have your CFO prepare a few key metrics to report on, with some commentary about how we should think about these metrics, if they’re up or down from same quarter last year, for example.  Similarly, if you set annual priorities but not quarterly rocks, have the CEO show the annual priorities and ask for the team to report progress on each.  If you’re not working on an annual plan at all, simply report on the key projects that have moved forward and the ones that haven’t.

Action Steps

  • Schedule your quarterly offsite now, before you do anything else.  Find a day when every executive team member can be present in the next 3 weeks and lock that day immediately.
  • To get my help, schedule yourself for a phone call.  We’ll decide together if there’s something quick I can help you with or if it makes sense for me to lead your quarterly planning session.  Schedule here

I free up entrepreneurs for greater impact. Day to day demands of your growing business will sap your energy and blunt your effectiveness. Together we can work to reduce demands by up to 80% while moving more quickly in the direction of your purpose.

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